Material & Supply Calculator Countertops

Related Glossary Terms

Because countertops are closer to eye level than floors, skillful craftsmanship is the key to a professional-looking installation. For this reason, it is a good idea to make all the tile cuts and place the tile in position without adhesive or mortar before installing – this is called dry-fitting. With a little extra time spent carefully measuring and planning the installation, you can create a terrific food preparation area that you will be proud of!

Choosing a stain-resistant grout such as MAPEI Flexcolor CQ will help make kitchen maintenance easier. For optimum stain resistance, an epoxy-based grout such as MAPEI Kerapoxy CQ is recommended.

(Also see Substrates)

There are many different materials used in home construction today. However, only a handful of these materials are suitable as substrates for tile installations.

The most commonly recommended substrates for interior tile installations are: cement board, exterior-grade plywood (floors only), masonry (walls), drywall and concrete. Existing finishes such as ceramic tile, porcelain tile, natural stone, laminate (countertops), VCT or well-adhered non-cushioned residential sheet vinyl can also sometimes serve as suitable interior substrates.

(Also see Substrates)

In order to tile over existing ceramic tile, the tile should be lightly sanded and then cleaned. New ceramic porcelain tile or natural stone can then be installed with a polymer-modified cement-based mortar such as MAPEI Porcelain Tile Mortar, MAPEI Large-Format Floor & Wall Tile Mortar, MAPEI Large Tile & Stone Mortar or a two-part cement-based mortar and liquid additive such as MAPEI Large-Format Floor Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive or MAPEI Uncoupling Membrane Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive. Always use a white mortar for installations of new natural stone and clean the grout joints while the mortar is still soft in preparation for grouting.

(Also see Substrates)

In order to tile over existing porcelain tile, the tile should be cleaned. New ceramic or porcelain tile can then be installed using MAPEI Large-Format Floor & Wall Tile Mortar, MAPEI Large Tile & Stone Mortar, or a two-part mortar such as MAPEI Large-Format Floor Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive, or MAPEI Uncoupling Membrane Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive.

Natural stone tile up to 15" in length and width can be installed using a two-part mortar such as MAPEI Mosaic & Glass Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive.

(Also see Substrates)

In order to tile over existing natural stone tile, the tile should be sanded and then cleaned in order to completely remove any sealers. Ceramic, porcelain tile or natural stone, can then be installed using a two-part mortar such as MAPEI Large-Format Floor Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive, or MAPEI Uncoupling Membrane Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive.

Natural stone tile up to 15" in length and width can be installed using a two-part mortar such as MAPEI Mosaic & Glass Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive.

(Also see Substrates)

Existing laminate material on countertops and backsplashes should be lightly sanded and cleaned. Ceramic or porcelain tile can then be installed using MAPEI Large Tile & Stone Mortar or a two-part cement-based mortar and liquid additive such as MAPEI Large-Format Floor Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive or MAPEI Uncoupling Membrane Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive. Natural stone can be installed using MAPEI Large Tile & Stone Mortar (white) or a two-part mortar such as MAPEI Mosaic & Glass Tile Mortar mixed with MAPEI Polymer Additive.

(Also see Substrates)

Cement board is a good choice for most installations of tile and stone on shower walls, tub walls and floors. It is important to install cement board in strict accordance to the cement board manufacturer’s written instructions.

Floors: Installation instructions for cement board on floors typically include applying cement-based thin-set between the exterior-grade plywood and cement board. The cement board is then screwed into the plywood while the thin-set is fresh/wet. MAPEI recommends the use of MAPEI Porcelain Tile Mortar, MAPEI Large-Format Floor & Wall Tile Mortar or MAPEI Large Tile & Stone Mortar as thin-set under the cement board. If leveling is needed on interior cement board floors, MAPEI recommends the use of a pourable leveler such as MAPEI Self-Leveler Plus over the cement board. MAPEI Primer T should be used to prime the cement board before the use of a pourable leveler.

Walls: Installation instructions to treat corners and seams on cement board on walls typically include using a self-adhesive mesh tape and thin-set. MAPEI recommends the use of MAPEI Porcelain Tile Mortar, MAPEI Large-Format Floor & Wall Tile Mortar or MAPEI Large Tile & Stone Mortar in conjunction with mesh tape recommended by the cement board manufacturer.

(Also see Substrates)

Exterior-grade plywood is also known as exterior-glue plywood. Its crossply construction and water-resistant glue make exterior-grade plywood the industry’s best choice for tile installations over a wood substrate. Tile installations over plywood are limited to interior floors and countertops in dry areas only.

Floors: Exterior-grade plywood floors should consist of a double layer of plywood, glued and screwed together. Each layer should be a minimum of 5/8" or 3/4" thick, to equal a minimum of 1-1/4" total thickness. The floor should be very solid and stable with no deflection (bounce or movement). Any deflection issues should be corrected prior to installation. Plywood should be free of paint. If plywood has been painted, paint should be mechanically removed. Old flooring glue should be mechanically removed or may be scraped down to a thin residue (depending on the type of glue). Minor low spots in plywood can be corrected by filling these areas with a cement-based patching compound such as MAPEI Planipatch. If leveling is needed, MAPEI recommends the use of a pourable leveler such as MAPEI Self-Leveler Plus. MAPEI Primer T should be used to prime the plywood before the use of a pourable leveler.

All exterior grade plywood substrates should be clean, dry and free of dust, dirt, oil, grease, paint, tar, wax, clear coats, loosely bonded toppings, any primers that are not MAPEI brand, old adhesive residues (unless otherwise recommended by MAPEI), and any other substance that may prevent, reduce or affect adhesion or performance.

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About your project… If you would like us to calculate quantities for your recommended products, please provide the information below. Enter your measurement as a decimal (1.5).

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Related Glossary Terms

Properly calculating your project’s total area helps ensure an accurate estimate of the materials needed. The shape of your project space may require combining multiple measurements. Follow the simple directions on our Calculating Total Area page to guide you through the process.

Grout joint widths are also an important factor in a successful tile installation. When choosing spacer size, consider the aesthetics of the installation, the type and size of tile, the edge style of the tile and the type of grout.

3/16" is a standard-size joint width. Wider joints may be needed with installations of very large tiles. Even installations of small tile require a minimum of 1/16" grout joint. Note: Installations with tiles tightly butted together (zero grout) are not recommended and will likely develop serious issues over time.

Many factors should be considered when selecting the right trowel size for a tile installation, but the most important factor is the tile size. As a general rule, after tile is pressed into mortar, mortar should cover the entire back surface of the tile without voids or trowel lines. So, take time to check for proper mortar coverage by periodically lifting a couple of tiles and inspecting them for coverage. If there are voids or trowel lines showing, a larger-sized trowel may be required for the installation. Back-buttering is generally recommended for tiles with any side 15" or greater. Installations of tiles larger than 24" x 24" typically require the skill of a knowledgeable and experienced tile installer. The Technical Data Sheet and product packaging will provide mortar coverage for common trowel sizes.

Note: When using premixed products such as MAPEI Type 1 or MAPEI Premium Mortar for tile and stone, using a larger trowel can greatly extend the drying time of the mortar or adhesive.

Countertops Supply List

Congrats, your Countertops Project has been successfully calculated. Below you’ll find a list of all the MAPEI products you’ll need to complete your project.

These calculations are only estimates. To ensure getting the right amount of product for your project, check the packaging information or consult your retail associate.
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